Plans to build flats on the car park at Stanmore station have been amended to keep most of the car park and add step-free access to the tube station.
At the moment, the platforms and ticket machines are several flights of stairs down from the main road above. There is a long winding outdoor ramp down to the platforms, but it’s narrow, and not really ideal for access – especially if going up.
There have long been calls for something to be done to improve the station, not just for local people, but also because the station is close to the nearby Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and has a lot of patients using it.
As part of TfL’s general plans to build flats on its land, it had proposed to build several blocks on the car park that’s next to the station. This prompted a lot of local opposition, worried about the loss of the car park. In truth, it’s less a local commuter station than a park and ride car park for people driving into London, especially when there’s an event a few stops down the Jubilee line at Wembley.
However, the plans have been changed to retain two-thirds, or 300, of the car parking spaces in a basement car park.
The other major issue raised in early consultations was to improve the step-free access to the station, and they’ve adjusted the plans now to add a lift that will take people from street level down to the level of the platforms, then a short walk to the ticket barriers.
The lift won’t be in the station itself, as that would prove rather challenging, so it will sit in the closest of the new residential flats – next to the station. An entrance lobby in the block behind a new retail outlet will provide access to the TfL lift and a 125 capacity cycle hub.
The space between the station and the lift entrance is currently overgrown, so the planning documents show it being opened up, which apart from being more pleasing to look at, should make the lift entrance easier to find.
As a (soon to be ex-) user of the station though, I would find the biggest improvement would be to fix a rather curious crossover that takes place by the ticket barrier.
Generally, the exit side of the ticket barriers is on the east and the entrance side on the west. Yet, most people arriving at the station walk down the east side of the staircase, then crossover to the west side to the barriers – which causes a problem for people going the other way.
I’ve long suspected its the placement of the free newspaper bin at the top of the stairs which causes that curious, and in rush hour, quite annoying behaviour oddity.